Race Summary: Hell's Half Acre 50K

7:53 PM


Race directors have become quite ingenious with their marketing skills in order to entice runner's to participate in their events.

The swag and medals are becoming EPIC sized for those who are out just for the bling!

Then there is this smaller subset of races, which are about the challenge.  The feat.  The craziness of it all.

Some of these events are more hype than anything else, but every now and then...

Welcome to Hell.  Hell in Texas.  Fort Worth Texas that is!

How da hell did I end up in Hell?  It all started with a text message:

If you're not familiar with Texas heat in summer time.  Or maybe you've not familiar with any sort of heat in the great southeastern United States.

Let's say it can be best described as a bit humid.  "What is humid?" you ask?

Water vapor in the air makes the air feel "thick!"  Heavy.  Weighty.  Over bearing.  Humid air also retains heat.  So 95 degrees feels like 95 degrees everywhere.  You can't escape the feeling of the heat.  It gets in your clothes like a bad odor.  

Humidity attaches to your soul like a starving leech from the Amazon directly on a blood vessel after you've eaten pizza!

Humidity makes you feel like a roasting pig being basted in your own sweat.  Don't believe me?  Then listen to me...



After some time in humid air you end up smelling like bad decisions and poor choices.  And that's before the start of the race begins, which starts at 10:00 pm in some vein attempt to soothe the heat of hell!

Cox Running Club is the host of this event and they come through.  Held at the Trinity River Park on the outskirts of Fort Worth, with a picturesque view of downtown next to the "Trinity River."   

Hmmmm... I'm sure if there was an alternative route to Hades, then I'm sure this river can be found on google maps.

The course is an elongated stretched out thin orbit, with a long run along the Trinity.  Exactly 5K in length, this flat course makes the distances of 5k, 25, or 50k manageable by the organizers and spectators alike.  Thus a 50K distance means 10 loops!  

10 loops through Hell along the river... However there was a nice breeze for the first 10-15k while traveling up river. 

The locals tell me the weather was cooler than normal.  I'm trying to figure out cooler than "what" normal?  Turkey cooker cooler?  

With any ultra, there is a fair share of expected failure. But you best bet your buttered Texas toast covered in hot sauce the environment at the Hell's Half Acre is going to be your factor!

Slightly over half of the 50K participants did not finish (26/55).  But damnit, much respect to any crazed maniac brave enough to show up to the start line of Hell's Acre next to the Trinity River in the fucking month of July!

It's Bloody hell!  But I'm a masochist.  Aren't all ultra runners?


To make hell even more difficult, the aid stations were stocked for shorter distances.  Or maybe I've become a spoiled elitist expecting any ultra to have watermelon, oranges, pickles, sammiches, Coke-cola, Tailwind, maybe pizza or omelettes, or soup!

There was the typical gator-aid and water on hand for liquids.  Orange slices, animal cookies, and pretzels on deck for fueling.  Not sure if there was any gels.  

Fortunately I bring my own fuels and only use what's on course to supplement my taste buds when I get board.  

So if you're looking to challenge yourself.  To go to the doorstep of hell and challenge ability to endure Texas humid summer heat whilst trying not to hallucinate and have a conversation with Mark Twain on the river banks of the Trinity river, which is an alternative to the river Styx, then check out the Hell's Acre 25k or 50k run.  


There's a 5k option earlier in the heat of the day, should you only want to "dip" your toe in the humid brimstone of Hades.   For more info, check out Cox Running Club Facebook page

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